Johannesburg - South Africa's number one tennis player Kevin Anderson has had a foot operation and will not play again this year.
"Initially he had hoped a period of rest would help him over his niggling foot injury, but he was still battling when he returned to tournament play in October and decided the operation was the best way forward," a South African Tennis Association (Sata) official said on Friday.
However, Anderson has set his sights on reaching full fitness for the Australian Open grand slam event in Melbourne in January, he told Sata.
After a creditable performance in the United States Open, Anderson withdrew at the 11th hour from the South African Davis Cup squad which was pummelled 5-0 by Germany in the World Group play-off in Stuttgart in September.
This ended hopes of a return to the elite segment of the event after an absence of more than 10 years and continued Anderson's two-year unavailability to South Africa in Davis Cup matches.
Although he had been absent from the court in the past four months, the 24-year-old big server has not lost too many ranking points from 2009 and his world ranking has slipped only marginally -- from a career-best 58th to 62nd.
This is well within the limit to gain an automatic qualifying berth for the Australian Open.
It has not yet been disclosed whether Anderson will enter the South African Open in February or end his Davis Cup drought later in the year.